Want better results from your new fitness regime? If so, you have to warm up – and warm down – properly. I know a lot of people new to working out tend to skip this part of their exercise regime. But, if you are short on time, you should be reducing the length of your workout. Skipping on your warm up and down will stunt your progress, and could lead to injury. Here are a few simple ways of including both critical components in your workout regime.
Order your workout
First of all, make sure you follow the basic structure of a workout. Never miss any part of this, as it could cause trouble for you, as well as affecting your performance and increasing your recovery time. Always start with a warm-up, then do some light stretches. Only when you are feeling loose and getting should you start increasing your workout intensity. As you get towards the end of your workout, start to include some more stretches, so that you are maximising your flexibility and movement. And, once you finish, ensure you spend five or so minutes stretching out in your warm down. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things you should be doing.
The warm up
Start with some light jogging on the spot, just to increase your heart rate. The warm-up stage is all about preparing your body for what is to come, and it all starts with getting that blood pumping a little faster. You will find it loosens up your muscles, and makes them relax – which is essential for avoiding injury. Not only that, but it gets your mind prepared for a good training session. As everyone should know, workouts are far more to do with breaking your mental barriers rather than your physical blocks.
The next step is to stretch your muscles. Again, it’s all about preparing your body and preparing your muscles for effort. It’s especially important if you are planning on doing a session of something like plyometrics.
During your workout, you might have small rest periods. It’s important that you keep moving, and shake out and stretch the muscle groups you have been targeting. Your body can start cooling down surprisingly quickly – especially when you start getting fitter. So, it’s important to keep that blood flowing and muscles working even by a tiny amount. It keeps you primed and in the zone.
The cool down
Your cool down should start with around five minutes of light jogging, reducing your workload every thirty seconds or so. The idea is to decrease your heart rate and body temperature slowly. Follow this with some simple stretches. Concentrate on the areas that you have been working on so that you work on the right muscle groups. For example, if you are doing a CrossFit, then look for a workout recovery guide for CrossFit to use.
Never forget to warm up or cool down. If you want to maximise your performance and get more from your workouts, they are both essential to your progress. Not only that, but they will improve your recovery times, and prevent acute muscle tears and strains.
Hope you get something out if this brief guide – let me know your thoughts!